Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is warning Texas Republicans to do their job or else bear the burden of having turned the "no longer reliably red state" purple, if not blue.
"We are, I think, no longer the reliably red state we have been," Sen. Cornyn told The Texas Tribune. "We are at risk of turning purple. And if we don't do our job, then we could turn blue in the coming years."
Cornyn's comments come as President Donald Trump has reportedly been trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in Texas' media and internal campaign polls, the latter of which is from leaks that led to the firing of three Trump campaign pollsters.
"Everything's changed," Cornyn told the Tribune. "I think 2018 woke up everybody on the Republican side to the fact that we not only need to be competitive in the primaries, but we need to talk to broader general election voters, too."
Cornyn is running for re-election in 2020 and will appear as the top Republican right under President Trump on the Texas ballot. Regardless of President Trump's polling, Texas is no longer a gimme for Republicans, per the report.
"He's unbeatable in a regular year, but this is not a regular year," former Cornyn aide Bill Miller told the Tribune. "A presidential year like this one changes the outlook. Otherwise, he's unbeatable in the state of Texas."
Cornyn is warning statewide Republicans are "frankly a little bit complacent" and have lost a grip on how to battle in a tough general election.
"I think that's absolutely the case," Cornyn told the Tribune. "The way congressional districts are drawn, most members don't have competitive general elections."
And, most notable, the campaign money in Texas needs to stay in Texas and not be shipped out to the rest of the country, perhaps even bring money in, he said.
"Texas has been a donor state for a long time," he told the Tribune. "Perhaps it's time we are a donee state."
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